There are a variety of energy assistance resources available to low-income households. You can get help paying in emergent situations like a 24 hour disconnect notice or more long-term assistance like a monthly discount on your energy bill or cost-saving education.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that provides energy assistance for eligible low-income households. There are several portions of the program ranging from one-time financial assistance for an energy bill, to free weatherization upgrades, to budget counseling. In 2020, funding for this program was expanded under the congressional CARES Act, which aims to assist those affected by COVID-19.
California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program: Save 20-35% every month on your electric or natural gas bill. If you are already enrolled in other public assistance programs, such as Medicaid, WIC, Food Stamps/SNAP, TANF, or SSI, you likely also qualify for the CARE program. To apply, contact your utility company.
Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program: If you are low income, but don’t qualify for CARE and your household has 3 or more people, you may be eligible for FERA. Those who qualify for FERA discounts receive an 18% discount on their electricity bill. This program is available to customers of Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Contact your utility company for information.
Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) Program: Those who qualify for CARE also meet the income guidelines for ESA. Qualifying households can receive free weatherization services and amenities such as energy-efficient appliances, low-flow showerheads, insulation, door repairs, and more.
For more information, call 211 or visit the California Department of Community Services & Development website at www.csd.ca.gov/Pages/LIHEAPProgram.aspx.